The Reebok CrossFit Games are only a few short weeks away. They will be taking place July 13-15 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Californa. Once again the fittest on earth will challenge for top spot and $250,000. If you have never had the pleasure of watching these athletes compete, I suggest tuning in this year. Talk about unbelievable, and completely exciting…I am often amazed at what these athletes are able to accomplish during this grueling weekend. Below are a couple videos from previous years, one featuring Chris Spealler and Heather Bergeron, and the other a highlight package from the 2010 games. Enjoy
Monthly Archives: June 2012
I am now the happy owner of approximately 120 lbs of grass-fed beef Why grass-fed? Grass-fed beef provides many benefits over CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) raised beef. I’m sure many of us are aware of the inhumane conditions faced by cattle confined in conventional feedlots. This is reason alone to switch to pastured animals. However, there are many more benefits to grass-fed and finished beef. Sarah Pope of The Healthy Home Economist outlines some of the reasons below:
Why even bother to source grassfed beef? Omega 3 fats, CLA, and Vitamin E, that’s why! Beef from cows finished on CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) feedlots have little to no omega 3 fats in their tissues. Omega 3 fats are those heart healthy fats that Westerners are so deficient in. Grassfed cows, on the other hand, have high levels of omega 3 fats in their tissues – around 3% of total fat content!
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a potent anticancer and lean muscle building agent found in abundance in grassfed beef but not grain based, CAFO meat. Women with the highest levels of CLA in their bodies have a 60% lower chance of breast cancer than women with the lowest levels (Finnish study).
A third reason to seek out only grassfed beef is that animals grazing on pasture have 4 times the levels of vitamin E as cattle eating grain in confined feeding operations.
Read her full post here.
Mark Sisson shares more reasons to seek out pastured beef. Grass-fed animals are not given antibiotics, (the majority of antibiotics used in the United States are used by feedlot operators to prevent disease among their unnaturally confined animals) nor are they administered growth hormones, which have been shown to disrupt hormones and raise the risk of cancer in humans. As well, by purchasing pastured animals, we are less likely to be exposed to potentailly deadly E-coli bacteria.
Dawn Thull of Green Promise shares the reason why grain-fed cows are more likely to be infected with E-coli bacteria:
Cows that are fed grain become sick because the grain causes an unnaturally acidic environment in their stomach. An acidic cow increases the risk for E. Coli proliferation according to researchers at Cornell University. This risk is passed on to anyone who consumes this meat. That’s just one of the risks of eating grain-fed beef.
Read her article, Grass-Fed Beef – The Nutritional Power House here.
So…with all these reasons in mind, I am very much looking forward to enjoying my grass-fed beef!
Dr. Mercola blogged today about the health benefits of exercise. He’s some of what he had to say:
Exercising sets into motion a beneficial feedback loop that leads to ever greater levels of health, while lack of exercise makes your health spiral downward and opens the door to disease and premature aging. Health benefits of exercise, many of which are the direct result of normalizing your insulin levels, include:
|Improving your brainpower andboosting your IQ||Lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer||Building strong bones|
|Lowering your blood pressure||Curing insomnia||Losing weight|
|Relieving pain||Blancing your mood and fighting depression||Increasing your energy levels|
|Acquiring fewer colds||Lowering your risk of diabetesand reversing pre-diabetes||Slowing down your aging process|
Dr. Mercola included several inspirational videos of people that used exercise to regain and optimize health. This one has to be one of the most inspirational transformations I have ever seen.
And here, one young person takes a stand:
Watch all 6 inspirational videos here.
A South American proverb states, “Fish broth will cure anything”. The more I read about meat and fish stock and gelatin, that more inclined I am to believe this! I have been taking gelatin and/or making my own fish, meat and bone broths for about 8 months now, and have seen renewed health in my gums, skin and toenails. In Nourishing Traditions (probably my favorite cookbook), Sally Fallon writes about how meat and fish stocks were almost universally used in traditional cuisines, and how this culinary practice has almost vanished in America due to our “modern meat processing techniques and our hurry-up, throwaway lifestyle”. We are seriously missing out!! Here she writes about the benefits of gelatin:
The public is generally unaware of the large amount of research on the beneficial effects of gelatin taken with food. Gelatin acts first and foremost as an aid to digestion and has been used successfully in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis and Chron’s disease…Gelatin also seems to be of use in the treatment of many chronic disorders, including anemia and other diseases of the blood, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and even cancer. Other important ingredients that go into broths are the components of cartilage, which recently have been used with remarkable results in the treatment of cancer and bone disorders, and of collagen, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments.
Ray Peat echos these sentiments in his article titled Gelatin, stress, longevity, writing, “The degenerative and inflammatory diseases can often be corrected by the use of gelatin-rich foods.” He goes on to write about glycine and proline, the two main amino acids present in gelatin:
When we eat animal proteins in the traditional ways (for example, eating fish head soup, as well as the muscles, or “head-cheese” as well as pork chops, and chicken-foot soup as well as drumsticks), we assimilate a large amount of glycine and gelatin. This whole-animal balance of amino acids supports all sorts of biological process, including a balanced growth of children’s tissues and organs.
When only the muscle meats are eaten, the amino acid balance entering our blood stream is the same as that produced by extreme stress, when cortisol excess causes our muscles to be broken down to provide energy and material for repair. The formation of serotonin is increased by the excess tryptophan in muscle, and serotonin stimulates the formation of more cortisol, while the tryptophan itself, along with the excess muscle-derived cysteine, suppresses the thyroid function.
A generous supply of glycine/gelatin, against a balanced background of amino acids, has a great variety of antistress actions. Glycine is recognized as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep. Used as a supplement, it has helped to promote recovery from strokes and seizures, and to improve learning and memory. But in every type of cell, it apparently has the same kind of quieting, protective antistress action. The range of injuries produced by an excess of tryptophan and serotonin seems to be prevented or corrected by a generous supply of glycine. Fibrosis, free radical damage, inflammation, cell death from ATP depletion or calcium overload, mitochondrial damage, diabetes, etc., can be prevented or alleviated by glycine. (the emphasis is mine)
Some types of cell damage are prevented almost as well by alanine and proline as by glycine, so the use of gelatin, rather than glycine, is preferable, especially when the gelatin is associated with its normal biochemicals. For example, skin is a rich source of steroid hormones, and cartilage contains “Mead acid,” which is itself antiinflammatory.
Ray Peat advises consuming 5 – 10 grams of gelatin with meat to help balance out the amino acids entering the bloodstream.
Recently, I was interested to read a post by Sarah Pope of The Healthy Home Economist where she blogged about another benefit of including gelatin in your diet. Until reading her post, I was unaware that the gelatin in my meat and bone broths was actually helping my liver to detoxify!
Gelatin not only helps the liver do its job effectively. It also helps the liver function normally if it is having problems.
Dr. Reuben Ottenberg in 1935 suggested in the Journal of the American Medical Association that patients with jaundice or other liver problems be administered 5-10 grams of gelatin per day as food or via a powdered gelatin supplement to supply additional glycine to the diet in order to encourage normalized hepatic function.
Read her full post here.
When you combine the facts that bone broths make any soup way more delicious, provide the much needed support for our adrenals, offer such a rich source for much needed minerals, nourish our bodyʼs ability to build healthier blood, along with care for all the connective tissues throughout our bodies, you can see why we consider bone broths to be such a foundational dietary pillar for anyone looking to navigate to greater oral health as well as create optimal system wide immunological health.
And I could go on…however, I think you get the point. For truly optimal health, start including gelatin, particularly from fish, meat and bone broth, into your diet now!!
Thank you Brian, for passing along this inspirational video. Check out this 75-year-old woman, who runs 10 miles a day, and is the world’s oldest competitive female body builder. Very cool indeed! Age truly is just a number
Currently we’re on a 6-week strength program, focusing on back squats. Pat decided to use Cheryl as his barbell…yup, just another day at the gym!
Sorry for the blurry photos…I think I was laughing too hard to focus properly
First I want to thank Arlana, Laurie, Mel and Leah for coming out and supporting CrossFit For Hope. Not only did they inspire me with their performances in the WOD, but they helped raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. CrossFit South Delta will be sending along a donation of $200 to help support families whose children are in need of hospitalization/treatment. Thank you gals!
I just finished reading an article on stress: 6 Strategies for Relieving Stress Naturally. Unfortunately stress is rampant in our modern world. I know that, along with poor nutrition and other terribly unhealthy things I did, stress was a huge factor in my becoming unwell. Regrettably stress may be having similar impacts on some of you. Check out this article and learn some techniques for quieting mind and body. And while reading, enjoy and destress to the music of The Arcangelos Chamber Ensemble.